Will TV commercials forever hound us?
Can the curse of TV commercials ever be broken?
THANK THE GODS FOR THE INVENTION OF THE CLICKER -- THE REMOTE CONTROL!!!
All you couch potatoes will soon be able to enjoy television dramas and soap operas without commercial interruption. This is something kin to having a little bit of heaven in our TV-watching. The new regulations go into effect Jan.1, 2012.
There is just one hitch in this great television “happening.” It is in the People’s Republic of China, not the United States of America.
According to a story by Wang Yan in last week’s CHINA DAILY, the new television regulations were passed “in accordance with the people’s interests and demands.”
No longer will TV ads interrupt the viewers dramas. No longer will films made for television be chopped up in ten minute segments by tomato soup or exercise bikes. Or, the worst: car dealership promotions.
American TV dramas and skits are written in eight minute segments. The last moment of the segment must have something that will cause you to endure the commercials and return to the story.
This is why watching a Hollywood movie on television is so appalling. These films were not written to be chopped into little pieces by the networks.
Over the course of ten hours, American viewers will see approximately three hours of advertisements. This is twice the number of commercials that we had to endure during the 1960s. Not a good omen for the future of TV viewing.
When the remote control device came on the market it was as if the Lone Ranger had come riding into our living rooms to deliver us from the barrage of commercials. Just like he saved the rancher’s daughter’s homestead, so the remote saved our sanity.
The remote control inventor should be awarded the Nobel Prize and receive a handsome check for every clicker sold. No one has invented a more stress-relieving gadget than the ingenious TV remote thingamajig.
While American television continues its advertising bombardment with no end in sight, we can find solace with our remote by our side.
The first television advertisement was broadcast in the United States on July 1, 1941. The watchmaker Bulova paid $9 for a placement on New York station WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The 20-second spot displayed a picture of a clock superimposed on a map of the United States, accompanied by the voice-over "America runs on Bulova time.”
In the UK, the British Broadcasting Corporation is funded by a license fee and does not screen adverts apart from the promotion of its own future programming. On the commercial channels, the amount of airtime allowed for advertising is an overall average of 7 minutes per hour.
Television networks and local stations thrive on political campaigns. They are considered indispensable but are seldom held to “truth in message” creed of potato chips or salsa.
Political advertising in France is heavily restricted, and some, like Norway, completely ban it. Hooray for the Norwegians.
The Chinese government said the move to cut commercials from the middle of dramas would "improve the level of public cultural services, protect people's basic cultural rights and leave the people satisfied."
This is probably as happy a government edict as the Chinese have ever had. There were cheers from Hainan Island in the south to the banks of the Ice Festivals in Harbin.
Hold on to that remote and have an extra as backup in case of breakdown, for I do not see our government passing any regulations “in accordance with the people’s interests and demands.”
Remember, life is more fun when the commercials are muted. If the government and industry learn how much we love our clickers, they may ban them!
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